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Questions Answered by Michael Hales

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Collections for Iowa on

Q: I own a timeshare in Mass and paid my maintenance fee late. They are refusing my payment (check).

I did not find any emails from them until I looked at my spam so it looked like I was avoiding them. I informed them by email that I was waiting for my tax return because I saw that there was a one-time Maintenance increase for an owner agreed on repairs. I have asked them to work with me but... Read more »

Michael Hales answered on Jun 5, 2019

If they never sent you paper bills, you may have an argument that they did not give you notice. If that does not work, you may have an attorney negotiate with the collection agency. Most timeshare companies use the same collection companies. I've found that they'll typically negotiate on the fee... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Arizona on

Q: What paperwork do I need to fill out to remove my children's names from an Arizona timeshare

Michael Hales answered on Jun 4, 2019

Assuming that the timeshare is paid in full, the resort will allow you to remove the names of other co-signers. Contact the owner services (or similar) department to get the process started. You may want to contact an attorney with experience in timeshares if you have additional questions or want a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on

Q: Can I put in my sole name a timeshare that is deeded jointly between me and my father, who passed away?

I have been paying taxes and maintenance fees for the last 14 years. He passed overseas and the timeshare was not included in the estate, so the inheritors just granted me the timeshare verbally. Can this issue be resolved. Thank you.

Michael Hales answered on Jun 3, 2019

This should not be a problem. If you contact the timeshare's member services department, they will be able to get you the paperwork you'll need to update their records. Depending on how it was deeded, you may not even need to complete any paperwork. You may want an attorney to review your paperwork.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Intellectual Property for Idaho on

Q: I have an established small business (LLC) with a distinctive name. Another business took my name.

The competing business is in my same exact industry with the same exact product type and in my same town. The names are off by ONE letter and the distinctive part is exactly the same. Is there anything I can do do avoid the loss and/or confusion of my clientele? Social media is important in what I... Read more »

Michael Hales answered on May 30, 2019

It sounds like you have a potentially strong claim for trademark infringement, so I'd recommend speaking to an attorney to get this resolved.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Copyright for Idaho on

Q: Is it illegal to create and sell shirts that say "Engorgio" (a spell) and have the deathly hallows Harry Potter symbol?

Michael Hales answered on Apr 11, 2019

You're probably fine with the word engorgio, but once you include any symbols from Harry Potter, you'll run afoul of trademark laws.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Idaho on

Q: I bought a laptop from facebook, they advertised that it had 16 gigs of RAM when it only had 4.

Do i have any legal repercussion? I have tried to talk to them in facebook but they have blocked both me and my husband after selling it to us.

Michael Hales answered on Mar 28, 2019

You might want to bring a small claims action against them if it's worth the time.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law on

Q: I have 2 years left on a Mexican time share with an annual maintenance fee of $ 575.00 US and I stop paying it ?

I live in Canada . What can happen - if anything ?

Michael Hales answered on Mar 27, 2019

I've seen a few timeshare companies in Mexico get aggressive when it comes to past-due maintenance fees. The typical method is to hire a collection agency and report the delinquency to the credit bureaus. I wrote a bit about this recently and you can access my article here:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Virginia on

Q: Do we have any days in which to cancel a contract for a timeshare, signed yesterday in the state of Virginia.

Michael Hales answered on Mar 26, 2019

Yes, I believe you have 7 days to cancel a timeshare signed in Virginia. Check your contract for exactly how to cancel and make sure you follow the procedure exactly. Speak with an attorney if you have any questions.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law on

Q: We are Canadian selling our timeshare to Mexican travel agent. Do we send initial notary costs to Profeco as advised?

We were informed from the travel agents ( in Mexico) attorney at law (Detroit, Michigan) that we are to pay for the initial notary cost and send the funds to Profeco. They say this is to be done to prove to both government agencies that this is a valid transaction. Is this the proper procedure? In... Read more »

Michael Hales answered on Mar 18, 2019

Goodness no! This is a common scam to have you wire money. No such requirements exist to transfer a timeshare in Mexico. Once you send it, the money is gone and you probably won't be able to get anything back. I wrote an article about these types of scams a while back that you can access here:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure for Florida on

Q: Can a Timeshare Association rent a unit in foreclosure process? If so does the rental $ go to association or owner?

Timeshare in Panama City Beach Florida

Michael Hales answered on Mar 18, 2019

In Florida, the answer is yes. Under most association bylaws, the revenue generated from the sale will likely go to the homeowners' association. Let me know if you have any follow up questions.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on

Q: Is price fixing illegal in Tennessee?

My parents are trying to sell their timeshare in Gatlinburg and the resort allows For Sale By Owner listings on their website, however they will only allow me to sell the timeshare at $2,500. My parents are willing to sell for $1.00.

Michael Hales answered on Jan 29, 2019

Although I'm not a TN attorney, I imagine that this is simply one of the terms of use for selling on the website, taking this outside the realm of price fixing. Your parents can sell it for $1 (and can advertise elsewhere for that price), but they can't list in on the website for that amount.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on

Q: If I receive a 1099-A representing a loss of $13k for ditching a timeshare can I claim this as a loss? Will it help me?

I was sold a timeshare with false accusations. I have the ability to hire an atty to get the time share nullified and they are saying I will receive a 1099-A to declare the loss. Will this actually provide me any cash savings during the tax process? I have no cap. gains or stock - just basic... Read more »

Michael Hales answered on Jan 17, 2019

I'd be wary of any attorney that tells you this. I've practiced law in Florida for many years and when I've helped clients get out of a timeshare, they will often receive a 1099 when the timeshare cancels the loan/mortgage. However, if the loan that was cancelled was $13k, the form will also report... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Social Security for Idaho on

Q: Can I get my brothers social security money if my mother refuses to help support him?

She gave me permission to take care of my brother and enroll him in school. My brother is special needs and needs to have certain programs in order to be successful. My mother is homeless and she wants me to care for her son until she is on her feet. She refuses to transfer his money to me as a... Read more »

Michael Hales answered on Jan 14, 2019

The easiest thing to do in this situation is go to your local social security office and start the process there. You may need to involve a lawyer to challenge your mother as payee for your brother, but I'd start with the local office and ask for their assistance first.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Texas on

Q: I was curious if a timeshare contract can be changed if the original contract was with another company?

The new company is trying to charge per night stayed, trying to force us to pay a deposit AND they have increased monthly fees (not a part of the original AND ONLY signed contract).

Michael Hales answered on Jan 14, 2019

Small timeshare resorts are often purchased by larger companies that seek to bring the new owners into compliance with their general policies. They can typically do this so long as the new ownership terms are not seriously different than those accepted when you signed your original document. Of the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan on

Q: I need help with a timeshare I signed up for on 11/19/18. I live in MI and was on vacation and Thanksgiving w. family.

I need help with a timeshare I signed up for on 11/19/18. I live in MI and was on vacation and Thanksgiving w. family. I did not receive the notice to cancel within five days, although the woman clarified I had five business days to cancel and not just five days. I sent a certified letter on... Read more »

Michael Hales answered on Dec 11, 2018

All states require the recession period to be in writing. I wrote about this an article for my state bar over a year ago with some tips that you and your attorney may find helpful. You can access it here:

It also has some advice on how to avoid the myriad...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on

Q: My timeshare sold out to another company. Can this new company force us to buy into their program?

Can we be penalized by paying higher maintenance fees because owners have sold out?

Michael Hales answered on Nov 26, 2018

Unless your contract documents saying something to the contrary, the answer to this depends on if the new company has materially altered the terms of your prior agreement. Companies are generally allowed to increase maintenance fees, but only up to a reasonable amount (usually 2-5% per year). But... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy on

Q: I am a recent widow and have been left with debt that I cannot pay. I am seriously considering bankruptcy. My question

We bought into a timeshare in USA

Will the bankruptcy accept that as part of the debt.

Michael Hales answered on Nov 6, 2018

If the timeshare is your only debt, I recommend contacting the timeshare developer directly or through an attorney to offer it back to them in return for a discharge of the debt you owe. They frequently agree to this when I approach them on behalf of clients.

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3 Answers | Asked in Business Law and Small Claims for Idaho on

Q: Verbal business agreement to buy wood. Wood was not fully delivered and payment was made. The seller refused to deliver.

3 cords of wood were bought and the seller only delivered 1 1/2. Stated that the rest would be delivered the next day. It has been 2 months and wood or money has not been returned.

Michael Hales answered on Oct 29, 2018

Although you don't have a writing, it appears that you have evidence that a contract was entered. It will now be an issue of forcing delivery. Please contact an attorney if you need assistance.

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation and Contracts for Massachusetts on

Q: Which is State for rescinding a license to occupy a suite

What determines the State for the purpose of rescinding a license to occupy a suite (timeshare)

licensor State or The licensee State of residence

Michael Hales answered on Oct 13, 2018

It will depend on the contract you signed, but even if says something contrary, the state where the property is located will almost always also apply. However, there can be some confusion about this, and I wrote an article about this very issue with my local bar that you can read here:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for California on

Q: I need to ask for help with timeshare and timeshare exit companies help.

Michael Hales answered on Oct 2, 2018

I'd be happy to help. I did write an article about timeshare exit companies that you can find here:

The short of it is that timeshare exit companies tend to be scams. They ask for money up front and do little to help timeshare owners. In fact, they cause...
Read more »

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